Easy DIY Scarf: 1-Hour no-pattern fat quarter scarf

Hello again — I've been away for a while because of holiday, family and work demands, but I'm back with a super simple DIY project that I recently put together as a gift for a friend.

I always get super over-ambitious about handmade gifts at the holidays, so it's fitting that I did not make this particular item until well after the New Year. But! It's a super easy, fun, quick project to break out if you want to do some stash-busting, or whip up a quick gift for someone. My favorite part of this method is there is NO MEASURING. I patterned this self-tying scarf off a faux fur scarf I received as a gift several years ago (you can see it here). I chose a plush cuddle fabric to create my replica, but I think this scarf would be cute in a lot of different materials.


1 fat quarter of cuddle fabric, or similar (approx. 18"x22")
Cotton batting or other "filler" material
Thread to match fabric


1. Fold your fat quarter in half along the short edge cut it into two 11"x18" strips.

2. Pin the strips together, right sides facing, making sure that the grain is going the same way on both. (If you're using a cuddle fabric or any other fabric with a nap, this is easy to check:)

Otherwise, just make sure that any directional prints are going the correct way. Sew along the pinned edge to create one 11"x36" (approximately) strip.

3. Pin your batting (or other filler material — this would be a great way to repurpose material from a felted sweater, for example) to the wrong side of your fabric along the edges. (If your fabric was not cut straight, like mine, it may be more than a "hair.")

4. Trim the batting fabric down to the correct size.

5. With the pins still in place, fold the entire strip over so that the batting is on the outside (right sides facing). Pin the long edge, and one short edge, together, removing the other pins as you go. Now you're ready to sew!

6. Sew along the pinned edges of your scarf, leaving one short edge open so you can turn it right-side out. I tried to sew as close as possible to the edge so that there wouldn't be a bulky seam; I also wanted the scarf to be as wide as possible. When you have sewed it all up, cut the thread, leaving a long tail (I'll explain why later), and gently turn the scarf right-side out.

7. Wrap the scarf around your neck, crossing one side over the other. One side of the scarf is going to pass through the other side, so here I'm using my fingers to approximate the spot where the openings are going to go, based on how I want the scarf to fit. In my case, I had a few extra inches at one end of the scarf, so I trimmed that off and pinned the edges up to get things even before moving on.

Left: before  Right: after (straightened out)
8. Using two pins, mark the approximate spot where you want your scarf opening to be. I placed the pins with the scarf still around my neck, and then straightened them out after taking it off so the pins were perpendicular to the edges of the scarf. These pins will mark the top and the bottom of the openings you'll make.

9.  To make the openings, you are basically going to create two giant buttonholes, and depending on your sewing machine settings, there are a few different ways to do this. I used the four-step buttonhole process on my machine to sew these, but you can do the same thing manually by following this tutorial if your machine's automatic buttonhole settings won't allow you to create ones this large.

10. Open up the buttonholes and test out the scarf. One end should slide through the openings you've just created. Mine was a bit snug to get through and if I had it to do over, I would probably make the buttonholes even bigger.

11. Now, about that long thread tail you left earlier? Well, I used mine to sew up the open edge of the scarf (yes, I am that frugal). And there you have it! This project took me less than an hour from start to finish, including a break to help my daughter do something super important with her stuffed animals.

I had fun making this (and wearing it around the house for a while because it is sooooo soft and cuddly) and would love to see how it works with other fabrics. If you try it out, please share a link below!


  1. Very cute! The buttonhole is such a great way to make the openings easily.

    1. Thanks! It's super easy to make a knitted version of this, too, as you can imagine.


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